A lot of people have this idea of Washington D.C. in their heads of a cramped, smelly, overpopulated city where everybody is a politician just trying to get ahead. For some specific places or situations, those things can be true, but to cast that judgment on the city, as a whole, is narrow-minded and just not fair. The experience that I have been fortunate enough to have in D.C. is far from the swampy horror stories that I had been told leading up to my internship.
D.C. is not hard to navigate. I will be transparent, the first week or two, I had zero idea where I was going or how to get there. However, once I explored the city just a little bit, things started making a lot more sense. The metro that runs through the city is honestly all you need to get around (except for the bus getting to Georgetown) and once you get familiar with the different stops, you won’t even need google maps.
D.C. is not all politicians. Before my internship, I used to wonder “Why be in D.C. if you are not in politics?” but now I’ve realized that there are people here from (and I don’t mean to be cheesy) all walks of life. I have met some amazing people from non-profit groups, family-owned businesses, and locals who have lived here their whole lives. These are the people who create the culture here. They are the ones who make life fun!
D.C. is not that serious. I thought that from the moment I landed to the moment I left I was going to have to be buttoned-up, professional, and always “on the job.” That truly could not be farther from the truth. Even working in a congressional office, I never felt like I had to tamper my personality or “take it down a notch.” The people here are just normal people, and trying to play the part will only lead to burnout and a bad experience. Show your personality, meet new people, and enjoy it!
Listen to the advice and stories that people tell you before coming to D.C. but wait until you experience it to pass judgment on the city. The best way to do D.C. is with an open mind!
Office of Congressman Morgan Luttrell
Washington, D.C. | summer 2023